Employer Justified Retirement Age

This page provides a brief outline of the University's Employer Justified Retirement Age (EJRA) policy

The University has operated an Employer Justified Retirement Age since 2011. The policy was introduced following changes in national legislation that removed the default retirement age. It was agreed that the EJRA would operate for ten years, with an interim review after five years. The five-year review concluded in 2017. Congregation considered the review group's recommendations, and as a result, approved changes to the age and scope of the EJRA. These changes came into effect on 1 October 2017. 

The EJRA is set at the 30 September preceding an individual’s 69th birthday.

It applies to all staff in grade 8 and above.

It is intended to promote the Aims, primarily to enable refreshment, inter-generational fairness and improvements in diversity

In exceptional circumstances, individuals can apply to work beyond the EJRA. The procedure for doing so is available here EJRA procedure.

Background to the EJRA

The EJRA is intended to maintain turnover in support of its Aims, which include refreshing the workforce, maintaining opportunities for career progression across the generations, and promoting diversity. The full set of Aims is available here.

The policy includes an exceptions procedure, under which individuals may apply for employment beyond the EJRA. Applications are considered by the EJRA Committee, with a right of appeal. The Procedure for considering requests to work beyond the EJRA is available here. The forms for the exceptions process are available here and the timetable is available here.  

As reported in the Gazette of 25 September 2014,  the University’s Appeal Court heard an appeal in 2014 and raised some issues regarding the EJRA policy and procedure. Council approved revisions to the Aims and Procedure to address these issues and to take account of case law and experience in operating the procedures. 

Five-Year Review

A working party to review the EJRA was established by Council in July 2015. It reported to Council and Congregation in Hilary 2017. You can read the full report of the Review Group here. Congregation debated the Group’s proposals in Trinity 2017, and voted to approve them. This was confirmed in a postal ballot. In summary, the changes were:

  • that the coverage of the EJRA be adjusted to every employee of the University who holds a post at, or assessed as equivalent to, grade 8 or above;
  • that the EJRA no longer apply to employees who hold a post at grades 6 and 7, and that employees at these grades therefore no longer have a normal or fixed retirement date;
  • that the age for the EJRA be raised by one year to the 30 September preceding the 69th birthday; and
  • that an application for employment beyond an individual’s EJRA date should be made two years, instead of one year, in advance of their retirement date.

The changes came into effect on 1 October 2017.

Later in Trinity 2017, Congregation debated and voted on a resolution seeking the abolition of the EJRA. The resolution was defeated in the house and in a subsequent postal ballot. You can read the text of the Congregation debates as published in the Gazette here and here.